“3DE is giving them the skills they need to succeed”

As a parent, Lisa Peppers was introduced to 3DE by Junior Achievement when her son Dalton was placed in the 3DE model at Chamberlain High SchoolAs a volunteer for Bank of America, her intrigue spiked when she became a business coach to 3DE students during their Delta Air Lines Case Challenge. Nine months later, she has been blown away by the impact of 3DE by Junior Achievement. Uniquely placed with a dual perspective on 3DE, Lisa shares her experience… 

Lisa’s son, Dalton is a ninth-grade student who has embraced the 3DE model during its inaugural year in Tampa Bay. Being familiar with Junior Achievement, she knew that the 3DE model was an interesting pathway and opportunity for her son. However, she could not believe the instant impact that 3DE would have for her son’s development. “I was floored. As a parent and being close to my kids, we talk about school a lot. It’s been great because we talk about the case challenges and how he is developing when working with a team and being exposed to the businesses involved.


Not only has Lisa seen the impact on her son’s learning, but she’s noticed the increase in his confidence too. “3DE allows him to feel more confident about his learning and he’s excelled so far in his first year of high school. It’s giving him the skills he needs to succeed3DE is teaching them so much more than their core curriculum; educating them on public speaking, presenting, critical thinking, engagement, how to sell and convince what it is you are doing, all of these things have boosted his confidence.” Dalton’s engagement with his learning has increased over his first year in the 3DE model. Lisa explained that when discussing his case challenges, she can see his thought process improving and his excitement increased when sharing his team’s ideas with her. “Dalton tends to be on the shy side, and I can see the change already, I think it’s helped him come out of his shell and gain that confidence.”

As a Bank of America volunteer for the 3DE National Case Challenge by Delta Air Lines, Lisa had the unique perspective of being a business coach for her son’s team. Recalling her experience, Lisa proudly smiled as she explained how her son was the one to present their teams solutions to the business coaches. “It really set me back and I was like wow… in these short few months 3DE has been able to do this for him.” 

Lisa recognizes the importance of opportunity 3DE can provide for her son. “Whether he decides on going to college or not, he’s going to get the hands-on life skills and experience with these different companies that will open up a door to a tonne of opportunities.” 

Lisa is a seasoned volunteer, sharing that her passion for helping the community is strongly appreciated and supported through Bank of America. She is no stranger to volunteering with Junior Achievement either. “I’ve volunteered at JA BizTown on numerous occasions, and even my son has been through JA BizTown, which was so great.” When the opportunity to volunteer with 3DE came up, she jumped at it, saying to her volunteer coordinator, “This is awesome, I think it’s great how we can influence and support young people, and I can guarantee these students will floor you with how great they are.” She believes that volunteering with 3DE by Junior Achievement is an incredibly valuable and self-rewarding opportunity. “I’d suggest every volunteer sign up. When these kids start sharing their work, they really wow me, some of their presentations truly floored me. As a volunteer, it’s an incredible experience. 

The fostered culture of collaboration, cohesion and team work has filtered throughout the 3DE model across all four 3DE schools in Tampa Bay, with the unique pedagogy and case methodology attributing to that success. Lisa believes this has been an essential method to increase the student’s competencies, attitudes, and overall behavior to learning. “The students amazed me, their thought processes, ideas and solutions to the case challenge impressed me as a business coach.” She believes that the integration of business coaches and community truly supports student learning and engagement. “The model itself is amazing. I love how it pulls all of their core classes together and makes learning come to life for students. For example, ‘why am I studying Algebra?’ 3DE shows how learning can be applied to a real-life example, and I really like that.” 

As a business coach, Lisa said that interacting with the students was a great way for them to develop their ideas. She referenced how her business perspective was thought provoking for the students and helped them consider alternate solutions and pathways to solve the problem. “Bouncing off ideas with the students was great, it acts like a soundboard for them to share, especially as it’s not necessarily just their teacher offering ideas, but the different people in the community. Not only is it a great opportunity for them, but it’s a great opportunity for us too.” 

Although only in its inaugural year in Tampa Bay, 3DE’s impact on the community and region as a whole shows promising signs in reaching the goals of student success, providing opportunities, and increasing economic mobility. “I think the model is amazing for the school. 3DE is not just for a select group of high-performing students, it allows such a huge range of students to participate, and they are the ones that will achieve in the workforce as a whole, and go and make the community a better place.” Lisa shared her perspective on how students who may not come from the best of backgrounds, or may not have the structure that some students receive, will gain the opportunity to succeed and not be left behind. “The community is just going to benefit tremendously because of the model, because these are the young people that will be going out into the community. 

Placing her parenting hat back on, Lisa spoke about the impact that it will have not only on Dalton, but her other children as well. “Living in the neighborhood around Chamberlain, I’m constantly asked by parents and teachers, ‘how is Chamberlain, how is the 3DE model?’ I simply say back to them, ‘put your kid in it’. It really is a no-brainer, why as a parent would you not want your children learning all of these skills and opportunity that 3DE provides. 

One of the challenges in education has been bringing relevant and engaging learning to students that matches up to real-world experiences. When asked about how 3DE can help bridge the gap to this problem Lisa simply replied, “Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working.” She believes that the 3DE model is set up perfectly to rise to the challenges of relevant and engaging learning and produces students who are ready to achieve in post-secondary life. 

As a Bank of America volunteer coming from the business community, Lisa believes that companies should get involved with 3DE by Junior Achievement. “If I was speaking to a CEO, I would say you need to get on board with this. As a company in a community, we are responsible for our young people and providing opportunities and paths for their success, 3DE helps connect this all together.” Not only does Lisa believe that companies should become engaged in the 3DE model for socially responsible reasons, she also states that it will be beneficial for companies’ business too. “When the company presents their case, they are getting a fresh set of eyes and a completely different perspective on a scenario within their company. Although only 15-18 years of age, these kids will surprise you, they’re tech savvy, they’re creative, they know how the next generation of work will look.”  

Learn more about 3DE by Junior Achievement at 3DE Schools – Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay (jatampabay.org)

Do you have a Junior Achievement story you would like to share? Contact Jonny Sutherland – jonny.sutherland@ja.org